NIGHTWATCH Extract: Egypt Dictator-Domino Falling?

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Advanced Cyber/IO, Civil Society, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Peace Intelligence

Egypt: A spokesman for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood announced that the group is making five urgent demands which the Egyptian government should comply with in order to avert several crises, according to a 19 January posting on the Muslim Brotherhood website.

Muhammad Mursi said the group wants Cairo to revoke the state of emergency, dissolve the People’s Assembly and hold free and fair elections, amend the constitutional articles that led to vote rigging in Egypt’s last elections, hold presidential elections according to those amendments, and fire the current government and form a national unity government responsive to the Egyptian people’s demands.

Comment: The Brothers are belatedly trying to take advantage of the Tunisian uprising. Mubarak could die at any time, but as long as he possesses his faculties he will not fall for lies by his personal security chief, as did Tunisia’s Ben Ali, and will not be intimidated by the Brotherhood.

NIGHTWATCH KGS Home

Phi Beta Iota: Dictators will fall before faux democracies because they are on the thinnest ice in the face of angry connected young people with legitimate grievances.  The PowerShift that Alvin and Heidi Toffler anticipated in the 19990’s has begun to occur.  The other threat to civilization can be found in fundamentalists and relativists–those who treat faith as a cult or faith as a convenience.  It is a mistake to regard the Muslim Brotherhood as threatening–they are more of an indications & warning.  When  the right precipitant comes along, Egypt will fall, and the other 43 dictators will follow in relatively quick (ten years) time.  Now is when US covert action could shine, but first the White House and Congress and the military-industrial complex must be weaned of their love of dictators.  This is also a time when holistic all-source analysis could shine, helping guide a 180 degree turn away from dictators and toward democracy in time for the 2012 “Awakening.”

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Continue reading “NIGHTWATCH Extract: Egypt Dictator-Domino Falling?”

NIGHTWATCH Extract: Dictators vs Iran in Middle East

02 Diplomacy, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 05 Iran, 08 Wild Cards, 11 Society, 12 Water, History

Syria-Saudi Arabia-Lebanon: Syria and Saudi Arabia pledged to support efforts to stabilize Lebanon and preserve its security and unity, Reuters reported 29 July. A joint statement from Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al Asad also called for better inter-Arab relations, praised Turkey’s support for the Palestinians and called for the formation of a government in Iraq to preserve the nation’s Arab identity and security.

NIGHTWATCH Comment: The King has undertaken another strenuous trip through Arab lands to build an Arab front that blocks Iranian influence in Syria and inroads in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Syrian Alawites, the Sunni Palestinians of Hamas and the Shiite Arabs of Lebanese Hezbollah have afforded the Persians unprecedented access to Arab lands and business.

The Saudi King continues to try to limit or reverse the damage to what passes for Arab unity from Iranian subversion. Thus far his energies have been misspent. His initiatives have not weakened Iranian influence in any of the three target entities.

NIGHTWATCH KGS Home

Phi Beta Iota: Ambassador Mark Palmer has it right–the US should not be supporting dictators (nor, we would add, a genocidal Zionist movement that joins the Arabs against the Palistinians).  See Review: Breaking the Real Axis of Evil–How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025.  Will and Ariel Durant also have it right: morality is a strategic asset of incalculable value.  See Review: The Lessons of History.

See Also:

Review: Palestine–Peace Not Apartheid

Review: Unspeakable Truths–Facing the Challenges of Truth Commissions (Paperback)

Review: The Health of Nations–Society and Law beyond the State

Review: The leadership of civilization building–Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century

and all  the book lists.

Journal: Missile Defense as a Metaphor

Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Key Players, Policies, Threats
Strategic Analytic Matrix
Strategic Analytic Matrix

The Obama Administration means well, no question about it.  They simply do not know what they do not know, and no one within the US Intelligence Community appears capable of speaking truth to power.

The truth that needs to be spoken is that Washington lacks both integrity and intelligence (as in thoughtful holistic decision-making).  Washington lacks a strategic analytic model, it lacks a commitment to eradicating the ten high-level threats to humanity (terrorism is ninth, a traffic accident, nothing more), and it lacks a process for harmonizing budgets and behavior across twelve core policy domains as illustrated below.

Continue reading “Journal: Missile Defense as a Metaphor”

Review: Getting to Zero Waste

5 Star, Environment (Solutions)
Amazon Page

First to Market, More to Come

September 3, 2008

Paul Palmer

The concept discussed by this book has been recently featured The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals And Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, and I therefore anticipate a flood of books on this topic, but hopefully helping each specific industry get to its own understanding.

Other books I recommend include:
Pandora’s Poison: Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy
High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health
The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage
Green Chemistry and the Ten Commandments of Sustainability, 2nd ed
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them
The Future of Life

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2004 Palmer (US) Achieving Universal Democracy by Eliminating All Dictators within the Decade

02 Diplomacy, 10 Security, 11 Society, Government, Historic Contributions, Peace Intelligence, Policy, Threats
Mark Palmer
Mark Palmer

Ambassador Mark Palmer is one of the most thoughtful, focused, practical, and hence impressive professional diplomats we have ever encountered.  His book, Defeating the Real Axis of Evil, made a profound impression on all of us thinking about how to create a prosperous world at peace, and was the final nail in the coffin of U.S. foreign policy–no foreign policy that relies on supporting 42 of 44 dictators can possibly have morality, legitimacy, reciprocity, or transparency, all vital attributes if we are to nuture humanity toward clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability.  Our review of the below book is entitled: Single Most Important Work of the Century for American Moral Diplomacy, and was posted November 30, 2003.  We still believe that.

Mark Palmer
Mark Palmer

Below is his presentation to OSS ’04.

Mark Palmer
Mark Palmer

Review: Breaking the Real Axis of Evil–How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025

6 Star Top 10%, America (Anti-America), Congress (Failure, Reform), Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Single Most Important Work of the Century for American Moral Diplomacy,

November 30, 2003
Mark Palmer
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links and new comment,

New Comment: In my view, this is the single most important work of the century with respect to American moral diplomacy. I note with concern that under Bush-Cheney “Failed States” have increased from 75 in 2005 to 177 in 2007. We’ve lost our mind, and our morals, as a Nation.

Ambassador Mark Palmer puts to rest all those generally unfair stereotypes of Foreign Service Officers as “cookie pushing” softies who fall in love with their host countries and blame America for any flaws in the bi-lateral relationship. With this book he provides an inspiring model for precisely what every Foreign Service Officer should aspire: to understand, to articulate, and then to implement very great goals that serve democracy and help extend the bounty of the American way of life–moral capitalism and shared wealth–to every corner of the world.

This is a detailed and practical book, not just visionary. It is useful and inspiring, not just a personal view. It is also a damning indictment of fifty years of US White House and Congressional politics, where in the name of anti-communism and cheap oil America–regardless of which party has been in power, has been willing to consort with the most despotic, ruthless, murderous regimes in the history of mankind. Still alive today and still very much “friends” of the U.S. Government are dictators that think nothing of murdering millions.

There has been some improvement, offset by an increase in partly free countries. From 69 countries not free at all in 1972 we now have 47. From 38 countries partly free in 1972 we now have 56, many of those remnants of the former Soviet Union. Free countries have nearly doubled from 43 to 89, but free and poor is quite a different thing from free and prosperous.

The level of detail and also of brevity in this book is quite satisfying. On the one hand, Ambassador Palmer provides ample and well-documented discussion of the state of the world, on the other he does not belabor the matter–his one to two-paragraph summative descriptions of each of the dictatorships is just enough, just right.

He distinguishes between Personalistic Dictatorships (20, now less Hussein in Iraq); Monarch Dictators (7, with Saudi Arabia being the first in class); Military Dictators (5, with US allies Sudan and Pakistan and 1 and 2 respectively); Communist Dictators (5); Dominant-Party Dictators (7); and lastly, Theocratic Dictators (1, Iran).

Ambassador Palmer makes several important points with this book, and I summarize them here: 1) conventional wisdom of the past has been flawed–we should not have sacrificed our ideals for convenience; 2) dictatorships produce inordinate amounts of collateral damage that threatens the West, from genocide and mass migrations to disease, famine, and crime; 3) there is a business case to be made for ending U.S. support for dictatorships, in that business can profit more from stable democratic regimes over the long-term; and lastly, 4) that the U.S. should sanction dictators, not their peoples, and we can begin by denying them and all their cronies visas for shopping expeditions in the US.

The book has an action agenda that is worthy, but much more important is the clear and present policy that Ambassador Palmer advocates, one that is consistent with American ideals as well as universal recognition of human rights. Ambassador Palmer’s work, on the one hand, shows how hypocritical and unethical past Administrations have been–both Democratic and Republican–and on the other, he provides a clear basis for getting us back on track.

I agree with his proposition that we should have a new Undersecretary for Democracy, with two Assistant Secretaries, one responsible for voluntary democratic transitions, the other for dealing with recalcitrant dictators. Such an expansion of the Department of State would work well with a similar change in the Pentagon, with a new Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Operations and Complex Emergencies, my own idea.

This is a very fine book, and if it helps future Foreign Service Officers to understand that diplomacy is not just about “getting along” but about making very significant changes in the world at large, then Ambassador Palmer’s work will be of lasting value to us all.

Also recommended, with reviews:
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America’s Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik

Forthcoming on Amazon in February and also free at OSS.Net/CIB:
COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, edited by Mark Tovey with a Foreword by Yochai Benkler and an Afterword by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada. I have high hopes for all of us finally getting it right (Winston Churchill: “The Americans always do the right thing, they just try everything else first.”) Now is our time to get it right. We can start by electing Senator Barack Obama as our forward-thinking always listening open-minded President.

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Vote on Review